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Cash for Appliances Is a Go!

The U.S. Government home appliance version of “cash for clunkers” is in the process of approval for all 50 states. A.K.A. SEEARP for -State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. The rebate program is for Energy Star qualified appliances only and offers $300 million dollars in stimulus funds for consumers. Individual appliance rebates will be between $50.00 and $200.00 covering most major Energy Star home appliances.

This stimulus program is expected juice appliance sales by as much as a 20% industry experts predict.

The major difference between the “cash for clunkers” automobile rebate program and DOE (Dept. of Energy) SEEARP is that the “cash for appliances” program will be not be a federally mandated program. Instead, each individual state will manage their own program and dictate rebate rules accordingly. The DOE wants each state to include recycling of old appliances in their program to ensure old energy guzzlers will be decommissioned, but specifics will be determined at the state level.

Start dates will vary by state with some only offering the program to lower income families or rural consumers. Other states are only including heating and cooling appliances in their program. California and Ohio opted for mandatory recycling of appliances while Illinois and Florida are giving extra cash to those who retire old appliances in a “responsible manner”.

With what amounts to over 50 different version of the program you can imagine the challenges faced by appliance manufacturers and retailers that operate within national and regional distribution channels. Retailers and manufacturers are setting up special web sites to help consumers navigate what promises to be a blizzard of complicated rules.

See: Sears Cash For Appliances Site

The Sears site will notify consumers in each state when their specific program starts, which appliances are covered and how much is being offered in rebates. Recycling information will also be available to consumers that visit the Sears site.

Bosch has also set up a consumer information site: Bosch Rebate Site

It’s expected the DOE will approve programs submitted by all 56 states and territories soon. The first campaigns are anticipated to kick off Presidents Day weekend in mid February.

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